In 2013 Sarah Dunham started an independent design office, Manual Labor, with fellow CCA Architecture classmates Joe Perez-Green and Noah Greer. She focuses on branding and graphic design within the company, but the office takes on projects that range from architectural design to furniture to web and print design.
One of the best things that I gained from my time at CCA was the emphasis on conceptual thinking. Being challenged to articulate my thought processes (in a design or theory course) prepared me for a fast-paced environment, one where I was constantly working to communicate and manage large amounts of information within the office.
Sarah is the director of communications at WORKac where she is currently editing the third edition of the firm's 49 Cities publication and working on creating an archiving system for the firm's digital and physical materials.
Her responsibilities include developing press and archival materials that reflect how architectural projects are communicated outside of the office. She also implements systems for the successful completion of large-scale projects.
Prior to WORKac, Sarah was the business development and research assistant at OMA, where she worked with the director and partner of the New York office. She designed project booklets, graphics, and project narratives for presentations made by the competition teams.
Jasmine Benyamin was a fantastic instructor who taught one of my favorite courses at CCA -- a theory course that examines how art and architecture overlap. She showed me a more analytical approach to architectural communications and encouraged my ability to form intelligent analyses of art using architecture as a means of communication.
Michael Bogan taught me to develop clear arguments and trajectories to support my thinking, which was crucial to doing well at OMA, where one constantly has to be prepared to defend one’s thinking and argue for a preferred design process. These skills also helped me improve the way the office evaluates and researches potential projects and clients.
Bill Littman taught me a lot about leading large groups of wily Architecture students. His focus on reading the landscape of San Francisco and examining nonmonumental buildings is something that continues to influence my research and design work.